Americans are often accused of having short political memories. And three Republican senators – Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – are betting their entire political careers on that premise.
For the past four election cycles (an eternity in politics), Republicans have campaigned and fundraised on one unifying theme – ObamaCare repeal. The Republican National Committee stresses the importance of ObamaCare repeal on its website in remarkably simple language: “Republicans believe that Congress needs to repeal ObamaCare as soon as possible.”
On the campaign trail over the past seven years, Republican candidates have passionately promised to repeal ObamaCare. From town hall meetings, to television and radio ads, to campaign speeches, Republican candidates have created a perfect dichotomy between the GOP and the Democrats. A vote for a Republican has meant – universally and without exception – a vote for ObamaCare repeal. On the campaign trail, at least, it really is that simple.
Republicans today hold the majority in both chambers of Congress and there is a Republican in the White House for one reason – the GOP steadfastly told Americans the message we wanted to hear: Give us the majority in Congress to pass ObamaCare repeal, and send a Republican president to the White House to sign that repeal bill, and ObamaCare will be a thing of the past. A simple message devoid of equivocation or hesitation.
Now the GOP holds the majority on Capitol Hill, and the political games are in full force. Republican leadership on the Hill has danced around the ObamaCare repeal issue for months, coming up with every excuse in the books for why Congress simply could not repeal the law. The Senate, in a brazen move last week, attempted to put forth a non-repeal bill, and even had the gall to tell Americans that it was the best we could hope to get.
Americans weren’t buying that, and we inundated the Hill offices with phone calls, emails, and tweets. In response to our pressure, Mitch McConnell has promised to bring up the 2015 repeal bill.According to The Hill newspaper, the 2015 measure “guts[ObamaCare] by repealing authority for the federal government to run healthcare exchanges, and scrapping subsidies to help people afford plans bought through those exchanges. It zeros out the penalties on individuals who do not buy insurance and employers who do not offer health insurance.” Repealing, gutting, scrapping, and zeroing out ObamaCare? That’s good news all around.
The 2015 repeal bill, while not everything conservatives want, is exactly what the Senate needs to pass right now. It is the only repeal option on the table.
Which brings us to where we are at this precise moment in ObamaCare history.
Right now, Senate Republicans have a simple choice: live up to your campaign promises and pass the 2015 ObamaCare repeal measure, or break your promise, shrug your shoulders, and do nothing.
Three senators have announced they prefer to shrug their shoulders and vote no on ObamaCare repeal. Yes, three senators who campaigned on ObamaCare repeal, and were elected because of that pledge, are planning to vote against their constituents to prop up ObamaCare.
But it gets worse. The bill that Sens. Murkowski, Portman and Capito are pledging to vote against is the exact same bill they voted for in 2015! So what changed? Well, for one thing, in 2015, they knew their vote was a show vote. President Obama was not going to sign that bill into law. But today? President Trump has his pen in hand, so to speak, and is eager to sign.
The three senators’ switch from 2015 is the height of political cynicism. They were willing to keep their promise in words and show only – not in actual meaningful deeds.
At Tea Party Patriots, we have put together a website, in partnership with the Club for Growth, to call out this political sleight of hand. ObamacareRepealTraitors.com exists to help constituents in Alaska, Ohio, and West Virginia put pressure on their senators and remind them of their promise to repeal ObamaCare.
Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this week, “Inaction is not an option.” Inaction is certainly not an option if Republicans hope to retain their majority in the 2018 election – or to ever regain the trust and confidence of the American people.
Let’s hope Sens. Murkowski, Portman and Capito – the three partners in perfidy – can quickly find it within themselves to make good on their repeated campaign promises. They owe us at least that.